An economical effect of the Japan Earthquake of March 11th has now hit home here in WNY. On Thursday March 17th a spokesperson for the General Motors Plant in Tonawanda announced that layoffs will begin on Monday March 21st.
The reason for the layoffs is due to the fact that Shreveport Assembly plant located in Louisiana has suspended production. The reason for the Louisiana plant suspension is because of shortage in parts that come from Japan. The spokesperson for the General Motors Plant in Tonawanda can not predict how long the lay offs will last.
This news comes only a little after a year that General Motors had announced a 500 Million dollar investment. 425 Million dollars of that money was for the General Motors Plant in Tonawanda, NY. Also just months after another 400 Million dollar investment to go towards the new V-8 project for pick up trucks. The combination of money was for building engines for Chevrolet Colorado, Chevrolet HHR, GMC Canyon pickup, Ecotec and Malibu. The money was also expected to create 470 jobs at the plant. Right now instead of creating new jobs the company has no choice, but to lay off workers.
We have yet to see how many other plants will have a direct economical impact from the quake in Japan. Not just automotive plants either. What we have to remember here is that the United States is Japan’s largest economic partner taking in about close to 32% of it’s exports. Automobiles are the largest import that the United States takes in from Japan followed by automotive parts. We also have to account for the fact that we rely greatly on Japan for: Office supplies consisting mainly of computers and computer parts, aircraft and aircraft parts, telecommunications equipment and power-generating machinery.
So far we only know of the short term effect that Japan’s earthquake has had on us both globally and locally. We have yet to learn of the long term effects that it will have on all of us.